January 15, 2018 by NKD

What do you expect from your career? A clear path up the ladder, a lifetime in the same organisation, an organisation where loyalty is rewarded with a seat at the top table? This isn’t Mad Men – times have changed.

Careers nowadays are about breadth as much as depth, and that variety and challenge are the keywords when looking towards the future.
And yet, we still crave that stability and reassurance that
comes from a lifetime career. If we aren’t getting that anymore, how do we feel confident and empowered in our career choices whilst getting a piece of that passion for work that everyone’s talking about? How are we supposed to know where to turn for help and advice when making decisions?

Today’s workforce

Millennials are disrupting the working norms that have existed for decades. Often identifying most strongly with entrepreneurs, they want to take control of their career choices and experience everything that working
life has to give.

As technology advances, work and life become ever more integrated. Millennials are looking for work that offers them more than traditional career progression. An integrated work and life often means the opportunity for flexible working hours and new experiences – to learn from their peers who may not necessarily be in their department, and most importantly to feel like they’re making an impact.

Millennials think about work more than any other generation, and they are the generation who prioritise wellbeing higher than anything else when evaluating their work satisfaction. The research shows that Millennials are looking for more than just financial reward when it comes to job satisfaction.

As Robin Levine, founder of Scouted, says, “it used to all be about an end-goal, you’d do grunt work in a low level job with the knowledge that it would pay off with promotions and more money in the end”. But, this isn’t the case for Millennials, “it’s about the journey. They care less about the end results. They want to enjoy the work itself.”

The question is, what are organisations doing to engage this new generation? Leaving this unanswered won’t just result in a disengaged workforce, but it will make finding the best Talent impossible.

It’s all talk

The yearly, bi-yearly or quarterly reviews are not enough anymore. Millennials want to talk to their managers more often than any generation in the workforce, with most stating that they want feedback from their managers once a month.NKD employee discussing career job

What Millennials are looking for is a coach – someone to talk them through problems today, and potential opportunities tomorrow. Picture their predicament: if you take away the security of the job-for-life, the 2.4 children and the car on the drive, how are you supposed to feel empowered and self-driven all the time?

You need the support of a coach, someone who can offer guidance and support as well as a questioning and rewarding attitude.  Everyone, no matter what their generation, has the right to support and advice in the workplace, and everyone has that person right on their reporting line: their manager.

A coach, not just a line manager. Someone that talks every week about actions and projects. And talks every week about development. Someone that helps clarify exactly where and how the person is making the company succeed. Someone that gives positive and constructive feedback, all the time; and leads by example in showing how to help other colleagues thrive. It can all happen in one weekly check-in conversation – personal development doesn’t have to wait until the mid-year and annual review.

Of course, life isn’t always unicorn lattes and rainbows. There will be times where the conversation isn’t always what the individual at that time might want to hear. But that’s just what feedback is all about: what someone really needs to hear, to make them develop and blossom as individuals.

Want to learn more about the mysterious millennial? Great, because we’ve written a white paper on the very topic! Check it out here.